Why are Sunnis and Shiite Muslims fighting in Iraq?
Iraq geographically lies in the dead center of where Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims (both Kurd and Arab Sunnis) meet, at least by historic cultural geographic boundaries. To the west, south, and north, Iraq is bordered by Sunni countries. To the east, Iraq is bordered by the only other majority-Shia nation on Earth: Iran. Iranians sympathize somewhat with Iraqi Shia, but tend to look down on them because most Iraqi Shia are Arab, whereas most Iranian Shia are Persian. In more recent context, Saddam’s regime favored Sunni Arabs over Shia Arabs and Sunni Kurds, since Saddam himself (and his cronies) were Sunni Arabs. Sunni Arabs, despite being a minority in Iraq, enjoyed decades of privileges that they lost when Saddam’s government was toppled and Iraq suddenly had a democracy… and democracies are usually run by that country’s majority; which in Iraq’s case is Shia Arabs. Many Shia Arabs saw this as their chance at revenge after years of oppression by Sunni Arabs, and Sunni Kurds saw t